Dallas Dentist–From Your Mouth to Your Heart
You probably know that your best bet for maintaining a clean mouth is to brush and floss twice a day and visit your dentist at least once every six months for professional maintenance. However, did you know that this routine may benefit much more than your teeth and gums? Increasingly more research is emerging that studies the suspected link between the state of your oral health and the development of chronic systemic diseases, including heart disease. To help underscore the importance of a clean mouth, Dallas dentist, Dr. Brock Lynn, explores the mechanism that experts believe may be responsible for the oral-systemic connection.
It’s all in the Germs
To understand how dental disease could influence your physical health, you must first understand how these dental diseases develop in the first place. The point of your daily oral hygiene routine is to control the amount of plaque that accumulates on your teeth and gums. This sticky biofilm is comprised almost entirely of oral bacteria, some of which undergo processes that are detrimental to your mouth’s components. For instance, one plaque germ consumes sugar and carbs, then converts them into acid that erodes your tooth enamel, paving the way for tooth decay. Others, however, may provide more subtle risks to your oral health, such as Porphyromonas gingivalis (the gum disease germ). When P. gingivalis is present, it manipulates your immune system, leading to excessive inflammation of your gums and reduced ability to fight off infection. The beginning stage of gum disease, called gingivitis, is usually detected by the unsightly symptoms of red, swollen, and bleeding gums.
The Oral-Systemic Connection
When infection takes hold in your mouth, the compromised soft tissues can offer a way into your bloodstream for mouth germs to travel throughout your body. In one study that sought to further understand the connection between gum disease and heart disease, researchers discovered that P. gingivalis accelerates the inflammation associated with many different forms of heart disease, including atherosclerosis (a hardening of the arteries). As an additional piece to the oral-systemic connection puzzle, the results of this study highlight the far-reaching consequences of not taking proper care of your dental health.
Excellent Dental Health in Dallas
Although more research is needed to accurately describe the cause and effect of this connection, Dr. Lynn advises keeping your mouth clean with a diligent dental hygiene routine to keep your smile brilliant and reduce the risk of heart disease. Call Lynn Dental Care at 972-934-1400 and schedule your appointment today. We are located in Dallas, serving Highland Park, Park Cities, and all surrounding communities.